Now that I no longer work at a newspaper, that means I no longer have to tiptoe around topics that might offend publishers, advertisers and editors.
I can write what I think without caring what anyone thinks of what I write.
And that being the case, today I’d like to admit that – for the most part – I couldn’t care less about the Winter Olympics. Unlike the Summer Games, where I’ll watch almost anything contested during the quadrennial gathering, much of the cold weather competition just doesn’t interest me.
Oh, I’ll watch hockey because I’m a hockey fan, and the bobsled event is fascinating because … well, I don’t know. It just is.
Barring those events, however, I’d just as soon leave it all alone.
Obviously, I hope my fellow countrywomen and countrymen do well and appreciate all the hard work they’ve put in. It’s just that their sacrifices don’t inspire me to actually sit down and witness the labor of their love.
The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games begin today. On Thursday, NBC will showcase figure skating starting at 8 p.m. – opposite the Duke vs. North Carolina basketball game.
Guess what I’ll be watching?
That being said, I’m not one of those sanctimonious types who think if I’m not interested in a sport you shouldn’t be, either, or that it isn’t worth following.
If you enjoy it then it’s worthwhile, no matter what sport it is. I think it’s great if you like things such as Nordic Combined, Skeleton and curling.
But I didn’t even know what Nordic Combined was until I looked it up.
At first glance the phrase led me to believe it might be a service I’d have to pay extra for if I was visiting a house of ill repute in Finland.
That’s not the case, though.
Nordic Combined is actually ski jumping and cross country skiing. To be good at it takes great skill. Hell, to be bad at it takes great skill.
But you know what else takes great skill?
Removing an appendix.
If you went to the emergency room with a ruptured appendix that required removal, I would be quite impressed with the doctor doing the surgery.
However, I wouldn’t want to see it.
And I don’t care to see Nordic Combined, either. Unlike an appendectomy I’m not repulsed by it or anything, it’s just not on my list of things to observe.
Same goes for Skeleton, which was also something I was completely unfamiliar with until I looked for it on the interwebs.
Skeleton “…requires individuals to ride a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down and forward facing.”
I used to do something similar to that when I was young and there was a rare snow. Of course I just called it “sledding.” Really though, since I led with my face, it should’ve probably been called, “dumbass sledding.”
But Skeleton sounds better than Dumbass Sledding (unless you’re competing in the Jackass Olympiad).
And of course, there’s curling.
I once poked fun at curling in a column, only to be schooled by a reader on what the sport entails.
So to prevent offending the curling community again, let me say I have nothing but respect for the women and men who put polished granite stones on ice and slide them toward a target while other women and men use brooms to frantically sweep in front of the polished granite stones.
But as is the case with Nordic Combined and Skeleton, it just doesn’t excite me and there’s no use pretending that it does.
Much of the airtime from the Winter Games will be devoted to ski jumping, figure skating and speed skating, things I have never done and never will do.
For millions of people, however, each of those activities are mesmerizing.
Yet the first event I plan to watch is on Feb. 14 when the United States men take on Slovenia in a Group B hockey showdown. There are no NHL players participating this time out, but hey – Miracle On Ice.
Then on Feb. 20, the women’s and men’s bobsled teams will begin competition, so I’ll check out a bit of that as well.
Beyond that, I’ll leave it to the rest of you guys to drink deep of the thrills and pageantry that comes with skiing, sledding, skating and sweeping ice.
And to all of the competitors representing the United States in those other pursuits, please know that I’ll be rooting for you.
I just won’t be watching you.